Regarding the natural resources around the island of Cyprus, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay has warned, “The clock is ticking.”

Speaking following his bilateral meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Ankara, Özersay added: “If the Greek Cypriot side wishes to reach a compromise with the Turkish Cypriot side, they should do it as soon as possible. If they do not take any steps in this direction, we have already conducted studies within the framework of a specific calendar. It is time to start drilling now.”

Underlining the importance of the Immovable Property Commission for the Turkish Cypriot side, Özersay stated that this was discussed during the meeting in Ankara, and that work is currently underway to develop a new finance model for the commission.

Minister Özersay said, “The Turkish Cypriot side brought the financing of the Immovable Property Commission to the agenda. The institutions of the TRNC should be considered and developed in compliance with international laws and standards. The most basic example here is the Immovable Property Commission. The Commission has been taken seriously as an institution of the TRNC because it adheres to standards developed by the European Court of Human Rights.”

“We are constantly in favour of the continuation of the Commission’s mission within the framework of the standards developed by the European Court of Human Rights, and we are, as a Government, working on a new financial model in this regard.”

Pointing out that there is a fundamental injustice at the heart of the property issue in Cyprus, Minister Özersay noted that although a domestic law was created in North Cyprus on this matter, such an opportunity had not been given to the Turkish Cypriots who left their immovable properties in south Cyprus before 1974.  “The time has come to speak about this unfair situation at an international level,” Özersay said.

Stressing that the Middle East is currently experiencing very rapid changes, Özersay said: “These developments should be evaluated with our strategic partner Turkey within the framework of regional and world politics. We discussed both regional issues and our bilateral relations at the meeting.”